Lurking: The addiction to online subcultures


Hello, you might remember over the past two years I blocked all politics from my social media only to add them back in moderation a year and a half later, I added them back in slowly and with a lot of cation. I only allowed certain people back into my space, and that’s because before hand, I became completely consumed in the Twitter subculture surrounding my political party.

And yikes, did it rewire my brain.

I don’t think we talk enough about what the sub-cultures can do, and not just the political ones but the intense niche interests ones as well. Fans become toxic online, which is why I’ve always warned against becoming a “stan”. These cultures are completely addictive. We like to say that we are just addicted to the site. “Oh, I’m addicted to Twitter” sounds a lot better than “I’ve addicted to a small community with extreme views on sexual kinks”. I’ve never fallen into one of those communities, but I know they’re there and have force online.

They’re all over the place, extreme little groups that have very strong opinions on everything from religious extremists to complete anarchists. They are all there, and they are all trying to take root in your brain.

Maybe it’s human nature to recruit. We like people to like what we do, and we especially like people to obsess with what we do. I think it has to do with our need for community. It’s social media that has allowed these niche communities to be corrupted with extreme ideas because they are only consuming things from within their community or things people say against their community. They take the later as a person attack, and people are willing to go into mental war for their communities.

Humanity really hasn’t changed much over the decades, we’ve just changed how we’re doing things. We’re made it easier.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be part of online communities, they can be a safe haven, I’m just saying that you need to be careful not to lose yourself to them. You need to make sure you’re getting balanced opinions and balanced content.

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